Background L-selectin (CD62L) is an adhesion molecule involved in leucocyte attachment to endothelium at sites of inflammation, and it has been demonstrated that L-selectin is rapidly shed after neutrophil activation. Recently, it has been reported that there is increasing evidence of neutrophil participation in asthma and the allergic process.
Objective The present study was designed to determine whether an IgE-dependent mechanism can modulate L-selectin expression on the surface of neutrophils. Moreover, we analyse the potential implication of intracellular signal-transduction pathways and whether specific immunotherapy (IT), glucocorticoids and antihistamines might regulate this process.
Methods Peripheral blood neutrophils from three groups of donors (asthmatic group without IT treatment, IT-treated asthmatic group and healthy group) were used. Cells were challenged in vitro with the specific allergen that produced clinical symptoms in asthmatic patients and also with the allergen to which the patients were not sensitive. Neutrophils from healthy donors were also challenged with allergens. Expression of CD62L on the neutrophil surface was analysed by flow cytometry, and soluble CD62L (sCD62L) in culture supernatant by ELISA. In an attempt to discover which IgE receptor is involved, we also challenged the neutrophils with monoclonal antibody to FcɛRI, FcɛRII (CD23) and galectin-3 receptors.
Results When neutrophils from allergic patients were challenged with specific allergens that produce clinical allergy symptoms, L-selectin was down-regulated from the surface of those cells, accompanied by a concomitant up-regulation of soluble L-selectin in the supernatant. The challenge with antibodies against FCɛRI, FCɛRII (CD23) and galectin-3, induces down-modulation of L-selectin on the surface of the neutrophils in all three cases. Calphostin C, wortmannin and manoalide attenuated CD62L down-regulation, suggesting the potential implication of protein kinase C, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and phospholipase A2 in the process. IT and glucocorticoids modulated allergen-dependent CD62L down-regulation, whereas antihistamines (terfenadine, loratadine and cetirizine) or nedocromil sodium did not affect the shedding of L-selectin.
Conclusions We present evidence that the neutrophil surface expression of CD62L can be modulated by an allergen-dependent mechanism. The modulation of CD62L expression can be induced through the three receptors of IgE. This process can be affected by IT.